Women of color travel too

In 2012, I spent a year living in Brazil and traveling throughout parts of South America. It was a deeply formative experience for me, and has had a lasting effect on how I integrate anti-capitalist and decolonizing work into my feminism. My experiences meeting folks of color and engaging with marginalized communities outside of the US have made me who I am as a young brown woman in this world.

Sometimes, I’ve felt that the privileges inherent in being able to travel can separate me from other brown folks, whether in conversation here in the US or while abroad. Being a person of color does not exempt one from being critical of position and power while engaging with an industry that so often reinforces colonized relationships, and the ability to freely travel for leisure, as opposed to for work or survival, is a luxury I certainly don’t take for granted. It’s true that folks with the funds to pay for trips, and people who can present in the narrow categories of man/straight/able-bodied, are able to move much more easily in this world.

But people of color travel too. They have been migrating and moving for centuries in spite of the many attempts on the part of the powerful to contain them. (Don’t get me started on the global “security” project to control the movement of communities of color in order to better exploit them.) And I think traveling can be an opportunity to build bridges where white supremacy and capitalism have broken them down, a big “fuck you” to structural powers keeping women, queer and trans folks, people of color and other marginalized identities from being free, as queer women of color travel writer Bani Amor would say.

It is this line of thinking that made me fall in love with Amor’s ongoing series, “Dispatches: Conversations with Writers of Color on Race, Place & Adventure.” Dispatches features interviews with various talented, ambitious creatives of color doing awesome things in the travel arena. Bani describes the inspiration behind the series: “I think WOC working together across cultures is a powerful form of resistance to the forces that work to keep us apart and that travel can be a transformative tool to bridge differences and disrupt media-fed stereotypes of who we are and how we live our lives around the world.”

In the series, you’ll meet Ms Moving Black, who makes an effort to check out historical sites when visiting majority Black countries, instead of prioritizing beaches and safaris. In her interview, she asks why contemporary travel writing is “still so keen to present a place of wonder, relaxation or exploration for the traveller or tourist, and not as someone else’s home?” Mikyuki Baker, who traveled to 15 different countries over 14 months to make zines about queer art and activism, talks about the “sticky tentacles of colonization.” And be sure to read through Evita Robinsons’ conversation about the online community she founded for urban people of color.

My goal is to work toward a world without borders, where all are free to move in the natural ways that humans do. In the meantime, I’m grateful to Bani Amor for highlighting the voices of those who are defying the borders of race, gender, and nationality that keep us apart and get in the way of transformative change.

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Bay Area, California

Juliana is a digital storyteller for social change. As a writer at Feministing since 2013, her work has focused on women's movements throughout the Americas for environmental justice, immigrant rights, and reproductive justice. In addition to her writing, Juliana is a Senior Campaigner at, where she works to close the gap between the powerful and everyone else by supporting people from across the country to launch, escalate and win their campaigns for justice.

Juliana is a Latina feminist writer and campaigner based in the Bay Area.

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